One of my favorite dates on my calendar each year is Vocation Day at St. Christopher's School in Nashua. For the past 25 years, Vocation Day has been an opportunity for the students of St. Christopher's to hear from priests, religious, and lay people about their vocations and to encourage the students to say yes to whatever it might be that God is calling them to do with their lives.
Vocation Day 2015 was today and the morning began at 9:30am with Mass with the school community at St. Christopher's Church. The Mass was celebrated by the superintendent of schools, Fr. John Fortin, OSB and concelebrated by the pastor, Fr. Richard Kelley. The church was packed as the school is actually booming (they have a waiting list in some grades). In his homily, Fr. John talked about the vocation of all Christians and reminded the students that God's grace is limitless. He asked them to think of the highest possible number but said no matter what the number is, someone can just add one and the number would be higher. God's love and grace, he said, is the same, it has no end.
Following Mass and a group picture, all of the presenters were treated to an amazing breakfast in the church hall. I had a nice time chatting with Fr. Kelley, who is a good friend of Trinity High School (he used to serve on our board), and Fr. Don Keegan, SJ, the pastor of St. Patrick's Parish in Milford. Fr. Keegan and I both attended BC High and Fr. Kelley attended Catholic Memorial, our rivals, so it was nice talking about the old country.
At 11:20am, I went to speak to the students. Each speaker speaks to three groups of students in 20 minute intervals and I spoke with the students in grades 5-6. Knowing this age group doesn't want to hear someone drone on, I try to use a lot (a real lot) of humor with them and am a little over the top - and they love it. I spoke about my family, why I left corporate life to be a Catholic school teacher (despite the pay cut), and how extraordinarily happy I am. I will never own a vacation home, drive a nice car, or go to Florida but, I told them, I have never been happier. My final message to them was to follow their passions, not the money, and they will forever be happy.
We are always presented with a nice picture of the group photo they took after Mass (they work fast) and I was happy to add it to my collection. This was my fifth Vocation Day and it never gets old. Thank God for the good people of St. Christopher School!